Where should we stay in Barbados?
March 12, 2009 1:07 PM   Subscribe

My gf (25) and I (36) will soon be heading to Barbados and need a nice, cheap, quiet place to stay, as well as some suggestions on things to do and good places to eat.

It seems like most places in Barbados are either all-inclusive mega resorts (which don't interest us at all) or dumps. We want air conditioning and a really close beach, but don't really need much else. Online reviews have been semi-helpful, but it's hard to know how much one person's 5-star or 1-star rating is worth when you don't know what their expectations were to begin with.

Once again we're looking for:
1) Quiet
2) Safe
3) On the beach
4) Cheap

We may split the trip up so that part is spent near Bridgetown and part spent in the northeast, so any location is helpful. I'm aware of the multitude of websites devoted to this, but am really seeking first-hand recommendations.

We're also looking for fun things to do there and places to eat, preferably places with a native vibe. Cost is not a factor here.

While I'm here: We went to Belize (Caye Caulker) last year and loved it. Are there other places in the Caribbean that are inexpensive, laid back, and non-crowded, but still have good diving and great food and are safe?

Thanks for your help!
posted by coolguymichael to Travel & Transportation around Barbados (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
When you get there, eat flying fish. If it's fresh, it's unbelievably delicious. I was in Barbados several years ago, and I still dream about the flying fish.
posted by Lycaste at 1:13 PM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Years and years ago when I was in Barbados, we stayed at the Nautilus Beach Apartments, which was less than half the cost of the Hilton just down the beach, and they have an incredible beachfront. We were very happy with the accommodations and it's not all that far to Bridgetown either from the Nautilus if that's of interest to you.
posted by barc0001 at 1:25 PM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Stayed at Dover Beach Hotel 10 years ago. It was - and is - a terrific value. Right on the beach, convenient to many places around the island, very pleasant staff, nice room (we had one of the balconies overlooking the pool, which also gave us a view of the beach, water, and sunsets).
posted by pammeke at 1:51 PM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Though I can't help with Barbados, I just got back a week ago from Nicaragua and loved it. We spent four days in Granada (shopped at Masaya Market for bargains, kayaked around Lake Nicaragua, ziplined in the forest with the howler monkeys), then a night on Ometepe, and then four days relaxing on Big Corn Island (though I would have preferred to have spent at least half of that time on the even more rustic Little Corn island). No crowds anywhere on the beaches, extremely inexpensive seafood (lobster was cheaper than shrimp in some cases!), wonderful people and culture. My flickr photos are here:
posted by HeyAllie at 2:51 PM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

I mean here
posted by HeyAllie at 2:52 PM on March 12, 2009

Response by poster: Great! Both places were on my short list for the Bridgetown area (yeah, Dover isn't in Bridgetown, but it's only 15 minutes away). Anyone stayed on the other side of the island?
posted by coolguymichael at 2:53 PM on March 12, 2009

Best answer: Oh, and as for things to do:

* the hotel helped us make reservations at several nice restaurants, from a fancy fish restaurant on a neighboring beach beach to a sassier (spicier) spot within walking distance of the hotel

* the hotel also made arrangements for us to take a champagne brunch catamaran trip (with several other couples) - including snorkeling - this was based on their (excellent) advice about which boat trips were more romantic than "party-style" (we saw a few of the latter when coming back into port, and were grateful to have been steered clear)

* we visited the Mount Gay rum distillery, the cricket pitch, and Harrison's Cave - all without renting a car (public transport & cheap group taxis were easy to use)
posted by pammeke at 3:28 PM on March 12, 2009

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